An innovative zinc finger based technology is currently in clinical trials and holds promise for treating several diseases. Their name is derived from their 3D structure in which a zinc atom holds two loops of the protein together to form a “finger.” There are several therapeutic applications for zinc fingers, including its use for repairing a disrupted gene in patients. Sangamo Biosciences, a small company in Richmond, California, is largely responsible for the technique’s development and has licensed the technology to Sigma-Aldrich, who will make these agents available to the research community. Sangamo has reserved the right to develop medical applications of the technology for itself and has four Phase 2 clinical trials in progress, including study of SB-509 for the treatment of ALS.
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